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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Polish PM sacks interior minister
Janusz Kaczmarek at the swearing-in ceremony as Poland's new interior minister in February 2007
Kaczmarek was sworn in as interior minister in February
Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has sacked Interior Minister Janusz Kaczmarek amid a deepening government crisis.

Mr Kaczynski told reporters there were suspicions Mr Kaczmarek had leaked classified information, obstructing an inquiry into alleged bribery.

He repeated that an early poll might be unavoidable as a result of the crisis.

On Sunday, a junior member of the governing coalition pulled its ministers out of the cabinet.

Mr Kaczynski said Wladyslaw Stasiak, who heads the president's National Security Council, would replace Mr Kaczmarek.

Mr Kaczmarek, a former chief prosecutor, was only appointed in February after his predecessor, Ludwik Dorn, resigned following a dispute with the prime minister.

Election solution?

Sunday's move was announced by Self-Defence Party leader Andrzej Lepper, who was sacked in July by PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski after he was accused of involvement in the same corruption scandal.

PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski (file picture)
Kaczynski says an early poll might be the solution to the current crisis

It is alleged that millions of dollars were paid in bribes to redesignate agricultural land for commercial use.

Mr Lepper denies any involvement.

Without his party's support in parliament, the ruling Law and Justice Party, with 155 MPs, is short of the 231 needed for a majority.

Self-Defence has 56 MPs, while the third partner in the coalition, the League of Polish Families, has 34 MPs.

"If there is no parliamentary majority, new elections are unavoidable," Mr Kaczynski said.

"I am in favour of prompt elections because we face a destructive opposition... There is no point in prolonging things for a long time."

Mr Kaczynski first raised the possibility of an election as the only solution to the crisis last month, but he and his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, have so far made no move to hold one.

The next general election is not due till 2009.

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19 Jul 06 |  Europe
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